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Indigenous artwork by local student features in stunning installation at Goulburn Hospital

Monday 4 July 2022

For local student Brock Chudleigh, having his Indigenous artwork feature on a striking large-scale installation at the $165 million Goulburn Base Hospital redevelopment was a big, but welcome, surprise. 

The 17-year-old Crookwell High School student, whose family comes from Yuin country on the NSW South Coast, was one of a number of First Nations students from the local region selected to create original artworks throughout the hospital. 

Chudleigh’s unique artwork pays tribute to the region’s rich cultural history and is a stunning feature of a 5.5 metre high steel external staircase outside the recently completed Clinical Services Building. 

“It was a massive surprise when I was told the hospital would be using my design – I was in total shock and awe to see how big it was and how amazing it looked,” Chudleigh said.  

“My artwork illustrates a river between Aboriginal people and the animals, and how they moved to let the land recover and not overuse it, as they knew it meant so much to us and deserved respect,” Chudleigh said.  

“It has given me great honour to see it featured and my family are so proud of me. Some of my tribe from the South Coast have also told me they’re very proud as well. 

“Seeing my artwork come to life has also given me more motivation to continue my artwork and strive to learn more about my culture.” 

The installation was designed in close consultation with Pejar Local Aboriginal Lands Council and Elders and Southern Tablelands Arts Incorporation. 

Students from Trinity College, Goulburn, Mulwaree and Crookwell High schools have also played a key role designing the original artwork on an internal staircase which recognises the Goulburn-Mulwaree culture, its people and communities. The area is a traditional meeting place and the artwork reflects the importance of the Wollondilly, Mulwaree, Shoalhaven and Lachlan rivers to community. 

Health Infrastructure’s Program Director, Arts, Brigette Uren, said local Aboriginal students and the wider Aboriginal community are playing a key role in art projects being integrated in the design of hospital and health services projects across NSW.  

“It’s terrific to see the work of young artists like Brock featured in our hospitals and engaging youth in our arts programs enables them to be an active part of this process,” Ms Uren said. 

“The next generation will inherit these health services and facilities and it’s important the voices of young people are heard in health infrastructure we are building for tomorrow. 

“At the Goulburn Hospital redevelopment, Aboriginal community Elders and members, including the local Lands Council have been involved in procuring engaging art commissions, providing advice on artwork themes, as well as the local Aboriginal language in wayfinding you can see within the new Clinical services Building. 

“It’s creating culturally safe spaces for Aboriginal communities and providing a welcoming health facility for the region to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes for patients, staff and visitors.” 

The involvement of local students in creating unique artwork for the building was coordinated by National Aboriginal Design Agency (NADA), a social enterprise run by the Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance, and in consultation with local Aboriginal community. 

The Arts in Health Program is being delivered by Health Infrastructure in partnership with Local Health Districts, artists, and communities as part of NSW Health’s record $11.9 billion capital works program to 2024. 

The Goulburn Hospital and Health Service Redevelopment includes the construction of a new clinical services building on the current Goulburn Base Hospital campus. Further health services will be incorporated into the campus during the Final Works stage of the redevelopment which will begin in the coming weeks. 

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